When you woke up to go to class, the words spoken by your choir teacher the day prior ran through your head. The accompanist for your choir would be introducing himself today. He was a Senior at the school, a year older than you, and for his senior project had chosen to be an assistant director for your choir only. You were part of the Die Lieders, the highest choir available to your school, and had been there since Sophomore year when you first tried out for the group.
Apparently, this T.A. of sorts was also going to be directing a quartet to present as his project. One soprano, one alto, one tenor, and one bass. You'd being trying out to fill the alto role.
Getting through the school day was tough, but third period you had choir. Walking into the small room, your classmates' backpacks lined the walls. You dropped your (f/c) bag alongside them and made your way to your chair. Third riser, second from the left. Elizabeta was already in her seat next to yours, eager to meet the Austrian boy up close.
"He's really quite popular, you know," she whispered excitedly to you as you sat, "And with prom coming up, just about every girl has asked him to go with her."
"Every Senior girl," you corrected, pulling her head from the clouds, "I didn't even know he existed until yesterday."
She ignored you, "Well that doesn't matter! Tomorrow night's prom and I will get him to go with me!" Her green eyes held a determined glare as the bell rang.
Your teacher walked in, a dark haired boy following silently behind her. He seated himself behind the piano and rested his hands just off of the keys.
The teacher clapped her hands, "Alright. So this is Roderich Edelstein. If you want to audition to be in his quartet, that will be after we go through our concert music in my office. We'll know by the end of today depending on how many audition and if you're picked we'll send a note to your last period class. Rehearsals will be held at the end of the day, after school."
Eyebrows raised, you scribbled on a piece of scrap paper before passing the note to Liz.
'Well that was quick,'
She chuckled before standing with the rest of the class to warm up.
But you couldn't help but think how attractive the young man really was as the choir sang through the list of songs they'd be performing at festival in a month.
"Alright," your instructor clapped her hands, "Who's trying out?"
A few tentative hands from each section raised, including Liz's more confident one. Roderich stood from his bench.
He cleared his throat, "I will be listening to soprano first, than tenor, than alto, and finishing with bass. Will all the soprano girls please line up in the hall, we will begin immediately."
The girls rushed over and you checked the clock. An hour and ten minutes until the bell rang. He wouldn't make it through the tenors.
But, despite your bitter thoughts, 47 minutes later he had already started on the alto group. Liz had hurried and shoved her way to the front of the line, while you were somewhere in the middle. There was only a short line compared to the other two groups that had gone, not because the alto girls weren't trying out, but because there weren't many to try out. About 10 girls lined the wall leading to the office where they'd audition to be in a quartet with very high potential. And a hot conductor. The girls around you murmured, wondering what he'd have them do to determine if they were worth it, while you simply hummed a song in your head.
Suddenly, it was your turn. You were pushed into the office by the girl behind you and she slammed the door shut. Roderich looked up from the papers he was writing.
"Hello," he greeted you, almost sounding bored.
He violet eyes locked with yours as they searched for something, "So, what's your name?"
A furious blush crept over your cheeks, of course that's what he wanted, "(F/n) (L/n)."
Those piercing violet eyes squinted at you. "I don't recognize you, are you new here?"
You shook your head, your (h/c) hair swishing into your face. "No," you told him firmly, "You don't recognize me for the same reason I don't recognize you; I'm not a Senior."
"Junior?" You nodded. Roderich sat back in his chair, "I'm impressed. So, (F/n), what would you like to do?"
Confusion settled on your face, tinting you (e/c) eyes a shade darker, "Excuse me?"
He smirked. "To audition. What do you feel comfortable doing?"
"Can I just- If it's alright- sing?"
You smiled and drew a breath bringing your hands up to your chest and closing your eyes.
"There was a time when men were kind.
When their voices were soft,
And their words were inviting.
There was a time,"
Your hands fell from their perch and your eyes opened sadly.
"Then it all went wrong."
The instrumental bit played in your head, and you swayed to the music. When you sang again your voice gradually rose louder and louder.
"I dreamed a dream in time gone by.
When hope was high, and life worth living.
I dreamed that love would never die.
I dreamed that God would be forgiving.
Then I was young and unafraid.
And dreams were made and used and wasted.
There was no ransom to be paid!
No song unsung no wine untasted."
Your face portrayed every emotion that flowed through the song as you dropped your voice lower.
"But the tigers come at night.
With their voices soft,
As they tear your hope apart.
As they turn your dreams
Your voice was loud once again. Then softened to barely audible as a small smile crossed your features.
"He slept a summer by my side,
He filled my days with endless wonder.
He took my childhood in his stride,
But he was gone when autumn came!"
Your features became pained as you kept your voice at the louder level.
"And still I dream he'll come to me!
And we will live the years together!
But there are dreams that cannot be!
And there are storms we cannot weather."
A single tear slid down your cheek, caused by the powerful voice singing the same song as you in your head.
"I had a dream my life would be,
So different from this Hell I'm living!
So different now, from what it seems."
Your voice hushed one final time before singing out the final line.
"Now life has killed the dream
As you held the final not you realized you had not been paying attention to Roderich, staring off into the distance instead of watching him. A quick glance revealed a stoic expression and your heart sank. You murmured your thanks before walking out of the room.
All day you had regretted your decision to audition in front of Roderich, feeling humiliated and tricked by the polite boy with an Austrian accent. Now, sitting in your last period class, you forced yourself not to think about the four notes that were being sent four different directions to pick up the four Seniors who had gotten the parts. None of those notes would be heading towards the Junior classes.
But still, when a T.A. walked into the class and interrupted your sarcastic math teacher, you couldn't help but raise your head a little to try and read what it said.
"(F/n) (L/n)?" his eyes scanned the room for you and you raised your hand. He nodded, "It's a note from your choir instructor, you got the part."
You froze, shocked for a second, before leaping from your seat and cheering. The teacher, however interrupted you, saving you from further embarrassment.
When you calmed, he spoke again, "She wants to head down and rehearse ASAP. Have you finished your homework for today?" You nodded and he handed you your note. "Then good luck."
"Thank you!" you shouted after scooping up your backpack and flying through the door. You ran halfway across the school before reaching the choir room. But there was no instructor there, only Roderich Edelstein and the three other members of the quartet.
The three other singers talked to you for a while before Roderich clapped his hands. "Ok. So, I would appreciate it if the four of you could learn this music by the next concert," he handed out some slightly complicated pieces, "We'll go over the music together next week, but learn your parts over the weekend." The bell rang, signaling your leave.
"Have a nice week," the soprano girl called to you before disappearing with the other two singers outside the room. You stayed rooted to your spot.
"(F/n)?" Roderich asked you gently, "Is something wrong?"
Your face flushed and you avoided eye contact. "I-uh. I- I can't read music!" you blurted out so fast you could hardly even make it out.
Roderich's violet eyes widened slightly, "Then, how did you get in the highest choir so fast?"
A nervous grin was painted onto your face, "Luck?" You shrugged.
"No. It certainly wasn't luck. You're very talented, so I'd like to keep you in my quartet. Why don't you stay after today and I can teach you?"
You rubbed the back of your head nervously. "Ah, gee. You know, that sounds great and all, but I'll miss my carpool."
"I can drive you."
Great. He can drive you. Your eyes squeezed shut and you looked like you'd been hit in the face. "Alright," you choked out.
An hour and a half later, you were still struggling with reading music. You just couldn't figure out time signatures.
Roderich tried to calm you down as your emotions slowly escalated. "Nope!" you shouted, standing up from the bench you were sitting at, "I give up! I can't figure it out." Your knees fell out from under you and you crumpled to the ground, tears pricking in your eyes. "I don't get it! Never have, never will." The tears finally overflowed down your red cheeks and your body shook from the sobs.
"Hey," your teacher cooed, wrapping his arms around you, "It's OK. Let's just try again, OK?"
You nodded, sniffling back your sobs and got back to work right where you left off.
Time passed. And more. And more. You conquered time signatures, dotted notes, and Italian. By the time it was dark, you were reading music as though you were born knowing it. Roderich handed you the music you were to sing for your concert and you were able to glance at it before going through the song with perfect rhythm, tone, and time.
"Yes!" you cheered before throwing yourself at Roderich, "Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!"
He gently pat your back as he laid on the ground with you on top of him, "It was fine."
Suddenly, you became very conscious of how pressed up against the violet-eyed man you were. You tried to pull back, but his arms held you close. "R-roderich?" you stuttered, squeezing you hands between your chests and pushing slightly.
"Yes?" he hummed into your hair as he rested his hands on your hips.
You shifted your head to look up at him, (e/c) locking with violet. Remaining silent, you examined the quiet happiness on his face. Visible only through his eyes and small smile. He leaned down to press his forehead against yours before you hid your face in his chest once more.
The two of you sat in a comfortable silence for a while before he broke it with a quiet, "(F/n)?"
Your (e/c) gaze once more shifted to look up at him as he continued, "Would you like to go to prom with me?"
Eyes wide, lips slightly parted, cheeks dusted pink. He remembered every little detail as he watched your face for an answer.
Finally, your sudden muteness was replaced by a quiet, "OK."
A wide grin spread across his face and he gently pecked your lips.
Now the tigers would leave, and you could dream again.